Research shows that diets don’t work (because 95% of people gain the weight back), but we are not only led to believe that they do but we are blamed when they fail.
We’ve been duped. Seriously. The diet industry has made some promises that they can’t keep (because, say it with me, “diets don’t work!), and not only did we fall for it, but they made us believe it was our fault.
As a dieter for 30 years, I was convinced that my body was to blame: I followed the food and diet rules but my body would not get smaller or stay smaller. I followed the food and diet rules but my body would crave food and cause me to fall off the wagon. I followed the food and diet rules, but no matter how hard I tried, how “good” I was, my body would never reach the “ideal body” that every diet led me to believe I could achieve with their plan.
Over time and with much work and practice I realized this important face: My body isn’t – and has never been – the bad guy. The bad guy is the Seduction of the Thin Promise.
Not sure what that is? Let me define it for you:
The Thin Promise is what we have been seduced to believe we will be able to obtain when we abide by food and diet rules. If we are obedient, not only will we have the thinness that is so valued by diet culture and our society, but this thinness will rescue us. This thinness will allow us to live our lives to the fullest. This thinness will bring us unending happiness. This thinness will create incredible life experiences. This thinness will reward us with deep and devoted love from others. This thinness will make clothing fit perfectly and comfortably every day. This thinness will mean that, finally, we will never have to worry about our weight again. The Seduction of the Thin Promise is at the core of every diet.
…and we have been duped!
Dieting leads to body dissatisfaction – not body acceptance. There is no one diet, lifestyle plan, detox, cleanse or any other alias for dieting that has been proven to lead to long-term weight loss. But when we believe in the Thin Promise, we become so blinded by our desire to obtain the riches that we believe thinness will bring us, that we lose sight of the fact that the very thing that we are seduced by is causing our body dissatisfaction, anxiety, and unhappiness.
The villain for me – and I suspect all dieters – is The Seduction of the Thin Promise.
The failures that came with dieting were not my fault, and they are not yours either.
The Seduction is the first and integral goal of the diet, fitness, beauty and health industries. If they can indoctrinate us with the Thin Promise, then we will continue to fuel their bottom line by coming back for more when their plan inevitably fails us. The diet industry ropes us back in by confusing us with their ever-changing diet and food rules. They feed off of our fears and insecurities by promoting expectations of what a woman’s body should look like. They normalize the notion that bodies should look the same, whether you are 14 or 64. They remind our Inner Mean Girl that we should be concerned with what others might think and say about our bodies, leading us to obsess and focus on our weight, BMI, cellulite, and clothing size, rather than standing up against the societal pressures on girls and women.
Let me make this clear: This is not your fault.
You could not have known that what you were being promised was something that would never be delivered. It is not your fault that you internalized the Thin Promise and turned on yourself – there are big marketing teams at work on a daily basis who are contriving and scheming to keep you seduced, to keep you a believer, to grow your faith in their promises. Your David was no match for their Goliath…
Until now. Now you know.
Now you can see and hear the barrage of messages aimed at your body and your fears and insecurities and you have the choice to no longer listen. You have the choice to call BS to their tactics to continually seduce you to believe that a smaller body is the only way to be happy, healthy, worthy, and loved.
It is possible to break free from The Seduction of the Thin Promise, reconnect with your inner eating wisdom, and end the diet cycle while making peace with food and your body.
Remember, you have the power to take action. You can end this cycle and be free of diet culture and find peace and happiness in your body without the pursuit of the Thin Promise. Because you are ENOUGH just as you are.